Each week it seems like there is a new program out there to help kick-start the real estate market. Tax credits, loan mod programs, raising and lowering conforming loan limits. It makes your head spin trying to keep them all straight.
If you are a buyer, you need to be aware that there are two BIG tax credits available to you if you buy a home right now, and if you qualify for both of them, it can be up to $18,000! I’ll explain them briefly below, and then give you a place to go to get the rest of the details (there is a lot of fine print, and you should check with your tax professional). But most importantly, you should know that a tax credit is MUCH better than just a tax deduction. A tax credit can reduce the amount of tax you pay dollar for dollar, so this is huge!
The first is a Federal tax credit of up to $8,000 if you are a first-time home buyer (means you haven’t owned a principal residence for the past 3 years) and you buy a principal residence between January 1, 2009 and November, 30, 2009. You don’t need to pay the credit back if you live there at least 3 years. The second is a California tax credit of up to $10,000, but this only applies to new home purchases. This one applies to purchases from March 1, 09, to February 28, 2010, unless they run out of money. You don’t need to be a first-time home buyer, but it does need to be your principal residence. You don’t need to pay it back if you live there at least two years. The Federal credit does phase out if you are over certain income limits. The California credit does not phase out with income.
I have a chart with lots more info on these programs, you can stop by my office at the corner of Fairview and Balfour and pick up a copy. Or, go to www.SharpHomesSell.com/TaxCredit to download a .pdf version of the same file. On the right side of the screen you will see a box with the word “Downloads” and right below that will be a link that says “Tax Credit Summary.”
If you have questions on this or any other real estate topic, call me at (925) 240-MOVE (6683). To search the MLS for free and view virtual tours of homes for sale, go to: www.SharpHomesOnline.com. Sharp Realty